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February 7, 2020
WHEN POKÉMON GO BRINGS PEOPLE CLOSER THAN ANYTHING HAS IN YEARS.
Is it tragic or is it revolutionary?
I was in London last week, and literally met a handful of new people on the street because they were making a scene about this new game – Pokémon Go. I'm not gonna lie, I was a huge fan of Pokémon back in my hayday, but I never thought that it would work its way back into my life as a young adult. Needless to say, I was wrong.
The first interaction was on the Overground to Dalston where the man sitting next to me hopped out of his seat and charged towards the doors of the train (the train was still moving and hadn’t yet come to a stop.) He posed himself there, holding out his phone, and then said, “YES!” Meanwhile, I was staring at him, baffled, wondering about all the different kinds of issues he may or may not have. He then returned to his seat next to me, turned over, and said, “I just caught a Pokémon.” It all made sense. I congratulated him. I no longer think he’s psycho and now we’re actually friends. He’s from Seoul and I liked his glasses.
The following day I was walking down the street in Soho and came across two boys consulting with an older lady – all three of them looking down at their phones. I slowed down as I could’ve sworn they were looking for Pokémon, and I proved myself right. They actually stopped me and said, “Excuse me, we can’t seem to figure out where we’re supposed to go to find this Jigglypuff.” Something about being involved in Pokémon Go excited me, so I went for a quick 5-minute walk with them around the corner, helping them catch their Jigglypuff. It was surprisingly rewarding.
People are catching Pokémon all over the place now. It’s almost a competition for who can catch a Pokémon in the coolest place. A nightclub, the breakfast table, on top of your friend’s head… The list goes on.
Now, friends of mine are traveling from Shanghai to Hong Kong just to be able to catch a glimpse of Pokémon Go’s madness. The hype is real.